No fun = No money
Without question, business is a serious game.
There's a lot of money at stake.
There's a lot of pride at stake.
A failed business can be a crushing blow - financially, emotionally, and personally.
But........ it's still a game.
And those who approach it as a game usually have the most success and fun.
I've never quite understood those owners that started their business only to become absolute miserable running it despite it having financial success.
It's your business. You're the boss. You make the rules.
Why trade a 9-5 job you hated for a 9-9 business that makes you miserable?
I can say, without even the slightest bit of hesitation, since day 1 I've had fun running Ageless. Even during the tough times, it's still been fun.
I think I've been able to keep it fun and enjoyable because:
1. I've always treated it as a game. A loss is just that. We learn from it, move on, and get ready for our next game. Nothing is permanent. Nothing is personal. Everything is a challenge. A test. There's always room for improvement. That makes it exciting.
2. The almighty dollar isn't the only thing that matters. Of course, I want to turn a profit, but not everything I do needs to have a positive ROI. When I saw a 20-foot tall marshmallow man for sale for $1200, I had to buy it. I didn't stop and calculate it's ROI. I didn't stop and think about how it fits into our brand. I didn't call my accountant and ask her thoughts. I bought it. Why? Because it made me laugh, and I knew it'd make me smile every time I walked by it in our gym parking lot. When one of our members hit the Hulk Status on our Strength Badge record board, instead of spending $20 on a t-shirt or trophy, I spent $200 and bought a customized championship wrestling belt for him. Why? Because if I could lift over 1,000 pounds on the deadlift and bench press, that's what would make me smile. I knew he, along with his lifting buddies, would enjoy it.
3. I can't remember if I read it in Good To Great or Built To Last, but the author concluded that one of the things that separated a visionary company from its comparison company was that the visionary company blazed its own trail. It didn't react to its competitors and make decisions based on those reactions. A motivational coach, whose name I also forgot, said something very similar. He doesn't check his emails or voicemails until 11am because if he does he slips into "reactionary mode" by responding to the requests of others when he should be focusing on building his ideal life. I like that. I do pay attention to my competitors, but a decision we make is never in direct response to a competitor. We don't do anything we don't want to, and that's what kept it fun.
So if you're thinking about opening a gym, keep those three things in mind. Like they say - keep it fun and you'll never have to work a day in your life.